Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Total WarAn Emotional History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lucy Noakes, Claire Langhamer, and Claudia Siebrecht

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266663

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266663.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The Tears of 1939: German Women and the Emotional Archive of the First World War

The Tears of 1939: German Women and the Emotional Archive of the First World War

(p.78) 5 The Tears of 1939: German Women and the Emotional Archive of the First World War
Total War

Claudia Siebrecht

British Academy

This chapter focuses on tearful reactions to the outbreak of war in 1939 as described and recalled by German women in diaries, memoirs, and oral histories. Women who were at different life stages in 1939 offer nuanced and explicit testimonies of their emotional responses, which were predominantly framed with references to the First World War. Retained memories of bereavement and hardship are particularly striking, and this chapter argues that both personal and familial experiences of the period between 1914 and 1918 were of key importance as they accumulated into an emotional archive. This emotional archive represented a crucial reference point for women to gauge a contemporaneous response to a political event—the outbreak of war in 1939. It also facilitated the construction of a personal stance and political positioning to war in a retrospective post-Second World War context. Women’s tears of 1939 were therefore about more than the outbreak of war; they were about owning and disowning different parts of their past.

Keywords:   emotion, emotional archive, tears, crying, memory, women, family history, First World War, Second World War, Germany

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.